Brian McDermott ‘disappointed’ with Leeds loss at Widnes

Leeds coach Brian McDermott said he was disappointed with his side in their defeat at Widnes and refused to blame injuries or jet lag.

The Rhinos were 6-4 to the good at half-time thanks to a try from Brad Dwyer. The Vikings came out firing in the second half though and scored three unanswered tries to seal a 23-6 victory at the Select Security Stadium on Sunday.

And McDermott was disappointed with his sides performance.

“I think it would be flippant of me to recognise the injuries but we had some players who have played enough games out there,” McDermott said.

“Widnes had a few out as well and I was thinking before the game that we had enough experience (to get a win). That was a disappointing loss.

“I thought we showed loads of endeavour with the ball but we just didn’t do a lot with it and we didn’t challenge or stretch Widnes enough. There were way too many one-off carries. We didn’t have that much goal-line attack in the first half and when we did, we kept it tight.

“With the greatest respect, Widnes don’t spend that much on their squad and they are used to being in battles and we ended up playing a version of the game which suited them.”

Leeds lost in the World Club Challenge last weekend in Melbourne and only arrived back in the UK at the start of the week.

But McDermott refused to suggest that his team were suffering from jet lag.

“We haven’t been down a mine digging coal,” he added.

“Everyone keeps talking about the travel – it’s not the worst in the world. We had a lot of staff looking after them and we’ve just been to a beautiful part of the world and played in a real physical game.

“It would be flippant of me to say that it probably would have had an affect so therefore I’m not expecting a ten out of ten performance but what I won’t accept is anything below par. That was disappointing loss.”

The Rhinos boss admitted that Ashton Golding will have his knee checked out ahead of next week’s game against Catalans Dragons while Tom Briscoe could return from a back injury.

He also revealed that Stevie Ward, Brett Ferres, Anthony Mullally, Carl Ablett and Jack Walker will definitely not be available.

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